Did you know alcohol isn’t vegan? The beer in your fridge could have been made with fish guts, your wine with dairy, and your champagne with gelatin.
I happened to find this out because I am allergic to dairy and I kept reacting to wine. Because it is not necessary to list ingredients on alcohol packaging, dairy and other non-vegan products are not required to be revealed.
Companies use additives like gelatin, egg whites, and dairy protein, to bind with impurities in the alcohol and catch them in the filtering process. This process, “fining,” is standard in most alcohol creation today.
Please note, this should not affect anyone with lactose intolerance because the dairy ingredients are removed and will only bother people with cross-contamination level allergies.
While many vegan alternatives are coming onto the market, it is not safe to trust labels or assure yourself that the FDA would put a warning label for allergies. Companies assure us that all the dairy and fining ingredients get filtered out, but people still have reactions. More proof that trusting big companies to keep you healthy and safe is not a good idea…
If you are vegan or have a dairy allergy, I’m going to introduce you to your best friend right now. Say hello to Barnivore.
Barnivore is the best reference guide to vegan beer, wine, and liquor. All the information you need is provided, and it will break down ingredients if the company has been transparent with that information. This is particularly helpful if you aren’t vegan, but are allergic to dairy or another potential ingredient.
Wine is definitely the worst offender with most wines containing some kind of fining agent. Here’s a list of wines and beers that are typically inexpensive and easy to find. I listed the prices for wine, since it can go pretty steep pretty fast with other lists I’ve found.
Favorite Vegan Wines:
- Charles Shaw (Trader Joe’s) Red Wines Only ~ $3.99/bottle
- Sutter Home – Cabernet Sauvignon, White Merlot and Gewurztraminer ~ $7 – 9
- NEWMAN’S OWN – Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay ~ $10
- Red Truck & Green Truck Wines ~ $10
Favorite Vegan Beers:
- Pabst Blue Ribbon
- Rolling Rock
- Guinness (Now vegan!)
In fact, you might be surprised how many different products you consume contain dairy and dairy by-products. This is part of a new series exposing hidden dairy ingredients you are probably consuming every day.
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